Tom Brady has a theory on why NFL ratings have gone down and it's not due to kneeling

It appears that Tom Brady had a few things he wanted to get off his chest, because the Patriots quarterabck touched on a lot of topics during his interview at the Milken Institute Global Conference earlier this week. 

For instance, we now know that Brady plans on playing at least two more years in NFL, but only because he has Gisele's official approval. We also now know that Brady may or may not feel appreciated by Bill Belichick. We also know that Brady was -- and still is -- totally in the dark about why Malcolm Butler got benched in Super Bowl LII, which means that's a mystery that will likely never be solved. 

Brady was also asked about another mystery during his 60-minute interview and that one had to do with why NFL ratings have been in a steady decline over the past two seasons. Although some people have theorized that player protests have hurt ratings, Brady doesn't agree with that. The Patriots quarterback also doesn't buy the theory that the NFL is oversaturating itself by putting too many games on too many days.  

So why are ratings going down? 

Brady's theory is simple: There are just too many other entertainment options for today's consumer. 

"There's so much for us to consume, I mean, as we all know, there's so much happening," Brady said. 

The 40-year-old quarterback even admitted that HE doesn't even pay as much attention to the NFL as he used to. 

"I hate to say it: I don't follow it like I used to, because, so many other things to follow," Brady said. "And it's just what can grab your attention, there's a lot more competition today than there's ever been, I think, especially with social media, for people to consume information or to consume content. The NFL has had a great product, people love watching the game and I think it's still doing better than every other program out there, but compared to a time when there was less things to do, it doesn't live up to those standards."

However, Brady did add that if the ratings are dropping, it's definitely not because his friends have stopped watching. 

"People that I'm around are still as intense about it as ever," Brady said. "I think the NFL has to continue to do a great job of building the game out."

As for the player protests that have been making headlines around the NFL since August 2016, when Colin Kaepernick kneeled in protest for the first time, Brady also had a take on that. 

"You have to have respect for everybody's opinion," Brady said. "The way that they want to present themselves and the opportunity that they have to make a difference. We all have an opportunity to make a difference in our own way and people are going to use those opportunities how they see fit."

The Patriots quarterback also added that sports have "been the most unifying part of my life." 

That simple statement is likely one of the big reasons that Brady continues to play and likely one of the big reasons why he'll be trying to talk Gisele into letting him play until he's 50. 

CBS Sports Writer

John Breech has been at CBS Sports since July 2011 and currently spends most of his time writing about the NFL. He's believed to be one of only three people in the world who thinks that Andy Dalton will... Full Bio

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